Stop tossing dead hamsters in the recycling bin, dummies! Or leg lamps, polyester bustiers, half-chewed kolaches, 8 mm stag films, monocles and other non-recyclable crap. Just don’t, OK?

by Walter Pierce

Lafayette Consolidated Government is about to start playing hardball with the knuckleheads of our fair city who are unable to distinguish between the blue bin for recycling and the blue bin for trash. Yeah, they’re both blue bins roughly the same size and shape — whose idea what that? — but the recycling bin has a light blue lid; the trash bin doesn’t. OK? Jeez.

To “maintain the integrity of Lafayette’s curbside recycling program,” as an LCG press release puts it, Republic Services will soon begin tagging “contaminated” bins — that is, bins containing non-recyclable stuff like garbage, yard waste, glass, plastic bags, Styrofoam or any of the items enumerated in the sub-headline above — with a notice of non-recyclables within the bin on pick-up day. Offending residents will get one courtesy removal, but after that the bin will not be picked up until the offender clears the bin of the non-recyclables on the list. This is not too much to ask, y’all, yet LCG had to issue a press release so there’s that.

[Editor's Tip: Hamsters should be buried in shoe boxes following a brief ceremony. Flush goldfish down the commode.]

LCG has seen a recent uptick in loads of recyclables being rejected due to contamination. Those loads are sent to the landfill instead. That defeats the whole purpose of curbside recycling.

“When a load is rejected, then everything, including acceptable recycling material will be diverted to a landfill, contradicting our program goals of reducing the amount of material brought to the landfill,” says LCG Environmental Quality Manager Bess Foret. “We are working to correct the issue and have created educational tags to remind and inform residents what is and isn’t acceptable in their recycling cart.”

If you’re unsure what constitutes recyclable material and can’t wait for that educational tag, send an email to [email protected] or call (337) 291-5637.